Keaveney makes Gilmore see ‘50 Shades of Red’

It could be the publishing sensation of the autumn, Fifty Shades of Red — the torrid tale of an often tortuous relationship between two powerful men battling for domination of the Labour Party.

Rebel former party chairman Colm Keaveney is to write a tell-all book that could “rock Labour to its foundations”.

The Galway East TD is believed to be in negotiations with two publishers regarding the record of his turbulent time battling Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore — with a possible title playfully echoing the 50 Shades of Grey saga.

Mr Keaveney, who quit as party chairman last week following a tense six month stand-off after being expelled from the parliamentary party for voting against budget cuts to child benefit, kept detailed diaries throughout the period.

“This book could rock the Labour Party to its foundations,” said a source close to Mr Keaveney.

The outspoken TD is also believed to have a number of internal Labour memos and emails detailing his run-ins with senior party figures such as Mr Gilmore.

The book is expected to be on the shelves just in time for Labour’s next party conference in late November.

The twice-delayed party showdown is expected to be difficult for the leadership as it will come just weeks after another tough budget in October and following a year in which Labour has seen its poll support dive and accusations of drift levelled at the leadership.

The Labour leadership never wanted Mr Keaveney made chairman in Apr 2012 and there have been threats of legal action regarding the process of election to the post.

His last six months as chairman provoked bizarre moments in Labour meetings as Mr Gilmore refused to be in the same room as Mr Keaveney if he chaired a meeting.

Relations between the two men, always fraught, broke down completely as Mr Keaveney positioned himself as the champion of “real Labour” values and the membership who had elected him to the post.

Mr Keaveney, who denies he is planning to stand in next year’s European elections as a candidate for a new party that may be set up by Galway millionaire Declan Ganley, finally walked as chairman after a bitter Labour row over reductions in special needs assistants.

The Galway TD has also broken ranks over the X case legislation, saying that he cannot vote for the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill because it does not include a time limit for terminations.

Mr Keaveney remarked that Mr Gilmore was “popping champagne corks” at the news of his standing down as party chairman.

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.